The Essential Principles of Freedom

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Freedom – it is one of the most essential, ever-present, and controversial themes in both literature, and throughout the world. Every day we exercise our freedoms without giving a thought as to how lucky we are to have the freedoms that we do. So what is freedom really? Equality, rights, democracy . . . these are all ideas that come to mind. But what are the essential principles of true freedom? True freedom is constituted by safety, the ability to freely express oneself, and the right to live without oppression from government. The first essential component in gaining true freedom is safety from?. This does not just include safety from basic, elemental things, but safety from violence, brutality, discrimination, and unsanitary conditions as well. In Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, he discusses the violent, discriminatory acts taken out against African Americans. In his advocacy for freedom and equality, he proclaims, “But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society . . . ” (King 151-157). Part of freedom for African Americans, and for all people, King emphasizes, is safety from violent discrimination. No individual, he argues, can be truly free when they are subject to unnecessary discrimatory violence to and unequal conditions. Another basic human safety right that constitutes true freedom is safety from unfair prosecution. In Rebecca Makkai's short story, "The Briefcase", the ... ... middle of paper ... ... allowing government and police forces to toss aside declarations of rights and freedoms guaranteed to the Egyptian people by their constitution. This allowed the government to oppress its people and silence any whisperings of revolution or change, though obviously it was not as effective as imagined. Nonetheless, this was a sign of an oppressive government and a lack of freedom for the people, two concepts that go hand-in-hand. Many authors have addressed the concept of true freedom in their work; in letters, essays, short stories, and memoirs. The definition of true freedom has been debated, but there are a few aspects of true freedom that almost all authors seem to agree on – safety, the ability to freely express oneself, and the right to live without been oppressed by the government. If one of these principles is missing, no person can achieve true freedom.
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